1. Factory ‘Live-In’
All over the nation, private companies have stepped up to supply materials and products needed to fight the coronavirus. But no company has done what a company from Pennsylvania did: 43 Braskem America workers moved into their factory in the community of Marcus Hook and worked 28 straight days without leaving. The employees worked 12-hour shifts day and night to produce millions of pounds of the raw materials that end up in face masks, surgical gowns and even disinfectant wipes used by doctors and nurses. All the workers volunteered for the factory “live-in,” and they were paid for all 24 hours each day at a rate higher than normal. “We were just happy to be able to help,” said Joe Boyce, an operations shift supervisor, in an interview with the Washington Post newspaper. “We’ve been getting messages on social media from nurses, doctors and EMS workers, saying thank you for what we’re doing. But we want to thank them for what they did and are continuing to do.” Private companies continue to do things to help doctors, nurses and hospitals battle the coronavirus. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about some of these companies. Use what you read to write a thank you letter to one or more of these companies thanking them for their efforts.
Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them.
2. Howling for Connection
People who live in the mountains are used to hearing wild animals like wolves or coyotes howling. In a mountain region in the state of California, the people are now doing the howling themselves. To show support to first responders during the coronavirus emergency, residents of the Santa Cruz mountains go outside every night at 8 p.m. and … howl. The howling started with a few friends who are connected on Facebook or social media. It quickly caught on, and now hundreds of people are taking part in this area south of San Francisco in northern California. It not only supports responders, they say, but it relieves stress and helps them feel connected to their neighbors in a time when they have been directed to isolate at home. “So many people are struggling with being alone right now,” a Boulder Creek resident said. “ … This is that one moment where they can hear that neighbor down the street … know who it is and … feel connected.” People have been doing many different things to stay connected during the coronavirus shutdown. In the newspaper or online, find and read stories about different ways. Then write the word CONNECTED down the side of a sheet of paper. Use each letter to begin a phrase or sentence telling how people are staying connected, and how that helps them deal with the situation.
Common Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them; organizing data using concrete objects, pictures, tallies, tables, charts, diagrams and graphs.
California and other states in the American West have experienced severe drought and lack of rain in recent years. But a new study has determined that conditions are even worse than previously thought. The new study has found the western states are in the middle of a “megadrought” that is the second worst of the last 1,200 years, the East Bay Times newspaper reported. The only one worse than the present occurred more than 400 years ago just before the settlers established the Jamestown colony in Virginia. To measure drought and rainfall over the years, researchers from Columbia University studied the rings of tree growth on 30,000 trees. Tree rings show which years had a lot of rainfall and which years had very little by their thickness or thinness. The prolonged drought in California and other western states has had many effects on life there. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about some of these effects. Use what you read to write a paragraph proposing ways to deal with these effects. Discuss your ideas with family or friends.
Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
4. Star to G League
After top players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant jumped directly from high school to the NBA, the league established rules that players had to be a year out of high school and at least 19 years old to play for an NBA team. Most players have gone to college for that year, but not the top prospect for this year’s high school class. California star Jalen Green, who is rated the Number 1 basketball recruit in the country by ESPN, has announced he will join the NBA’s developmental G League instead of going to college. By joining the G League, Green could earn up to $1-million next season, something he could not do in college because college teams are not allowed to pay players. “We’re thrilled to welcome a player and a person of Jalen’s caliber to the NBA G League,” said league President Shareef Abdur-Rahim. “He represents the next generation of NBA players, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him develop his professional skills in our league.” Just as Jalen Green was announcing he would join the G-League, the NCAA announced that college players would soon be allowed to sign endorsement deals to make money from their fame while in college. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read stories about this decision by the governing body of college sports. Use what you read to write a sports column giving your view on what effect this will have on college athletes and college sports.
Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.
5. Masked Asteroid
A giant asteroid flew by the Earth last week, and it almost looked as though it knew our planet is battling a health pandemic. The asteroid known as 1998 OR2 looked as though it were it were wearing a face mask in images recorded by an observatory in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. At 1.2 miles wide, the asteroid was a good-sized one and it was traveling at 19,461 miles per hour, America’s NASA space agency reported. It was not a risk to hit the Earth, never getting closer than 3.9-million miles away. Asteroids, which are sometimes called “minor planets,” orbit the sun in irregular patterns that sometimes cross the orbits of Earth and other planets. The asteroid that passed the Earth last week looked as though it were wearing a medical face mask. Use your imagination and think about what the asteroid might have been thinking as it looked at Earth battling the coronavirus. Draw two editorial cartoons showing what the asteroid might think about Earth’s successes and shortcomings dealing with the corona pandemic. Before you start, you may want to use the newspaper or Internet to see how editorial cartoons use art to express opinions. Share cartoons and discuss.
Common Core State Standards: Using drawings or visual displays when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or points; engaging effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.